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In evaluating resistance to high temperature, essentially every attribute and property of concrete merits consideration other than that of the concrete's resistance to freezing and thawing. These pertinent factors include items such as the quality of the ingredients, the design of the concrete mix, extent of curing and drying, volume change, thermal insulation, compatibility of aggregates and cement, carbonation, porosity, wetting and drying, and not least of all, strength. This complexity is real in spite of the fact that concrete is unquestionably accepted as the one structural material which has marked resistance to fire; consequently, any type or class of concrete is acknowledged by most laymen to be fire resistant. The specialist however, breaks the general category of concrete down into heavyweight, normal weight, lightweight, and ultra lightweight concretes, and further yet, into those made with natural or manufactured aggregates and with various kinds of hydraulic cement; he also gives due consideration to degree of exposure as well as ultimate use and purpose of the structure involved. A one-shot exposure to heat or fire is contrasted with repeated or continued exposure. Only a brief review is possible of the phenomena and facets whereby concretes attain these attributes. Further information may be obtained from the references.
Petersen, P. H.
Director of engineering, Master Builders, Division of Martin Marietta Corp., Cleveland, Ohio.